Nikki and the Skunk

by Carl Strang

It was a small skunk, but it was an adult, and fully potent. It had found a gap in a window well cover at the Mayslake mansion and fallen in.

Boards had been provided as a ramp, but the window well was too deep and the boards too steep for the skunk to climb out overnight.

My Naturalist colleague at Mayslake, Nikki Dahlin, is an experienced animal rescuer. She brought one of her nets and a change of clothes.

The skunk’s tail was lifted almost immediately: “I have a weapon and I know how to use it!”

The rest of us provided moral support…

… at a safe distance.

The skunk soon was on its way.

It had released some of the famous odor, but not in a directed spray.

Nikki’s net took the brunt of the emission.

Another day in the life of a Naturalist.

Fortunately such episodes are rare, and generally can be resolved with no harm to the participants.



  1. July 21, 2012 at 5:31 am

    i know someone who’s dog was sprayed by a skunk and it was a major task to get the smell out of the house… we won’t even talk about the dog!

  2. F said,

    August 22, 2012 at 1:07 am


    Do you guys know if there is an official word or term used when using a natural way to resolve a pest/animal problem. for example using owls to get rid of a rat infestation. “green” solutions to natural problems?


    • natureinquiries said,

      August 22, 2012 at 6:15 am

      Sorry, I am unaware of such a specific term.

  3. September 20, 2012 at 6:01 am

    […] holes at Mayslake might even have been dug by the same skunk rescued by Nikki earlier in the summer. That skunk awaiting rescue in early […]

  4. July 3, 2013 at 5:45 am

    […] the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Pollination Day event. Planned and assembled by Nikki Dahlin, the event drew a good crowd, families enjoying games, activities and group and individual learning […]

  5. May 25, 2015 at 3:48 am

    […] big building with a big perimeter. Its window wells can be pitfalls for small animals, for instance the skunk rescued by Nikki Dahlin a while back. Its many entrances offer opportunities for small animals to find their way in, as I […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: